The Christmas spirit is alive and effectively in Salem. Sort of, anyway.

Traditionally, Christmas is when viewers get to take a break from the drama for a day, as a substitute sharing in heat household moments and the annual decoration hanging social gathering on the Horton House.

On Days of Our Lives through the week of 12-20-21, although, the social gathering was tremendous small, and it virtually did not occur because of the Devil. How effectively did this Christmas match viewer expectations?

With the Devil working round Salem, it was unsurprising, although annoying, that it selected to disrupt the Horton Christmas.

The timing sucked, although.

It’s been years since Bill Hayes was given the chance to sing on Days of Our Lives, and the Christmas carol scene supplied a candy household second within the midst of all of the chaos.

And then the Christmas tree caught on hearth, ruining the entire thing. Maybe that was the purpose, however it was no approach to start the Christmas celebration!

From every part that adopted, the writers’ intentions had been clear: the Devil was imagined to attempt to fail to spoil Christmas so that everybody might rejoice the facility of affection on Christ’s birthday.

It did not fairly work for 2 causes. First, the Devil and the Hortons’ battle was so extremely campy. The Devil magically manifesting lit tiki torches was dangerous sufficient, however John’s response was equally foolish.

The entire battle would have slot in a Marvel film however was too goofy to take critically right here, which detracted from the storyline’s meant message.

Plus, the Christmas social gathering was so small that it was arduous to get into the Christmas spirit whereas watching it.

That wasn’t solely Days of Our Lives’ fault. Between smaller budgets and COVID restrictions, large events have been out for some time.

But with 95% of the household lacking, the decoration hanging lacked affect. It felt like there have been extra nonetheless photographs of the ornaments on the tree than of individuals hanging them.

Even with COVID restrictions, there may need been a inventive approach to present an even bigger social gathering. People might have had staggered visits, with some folks going dwelling as others arrived, or scenes of individuals hanging their ornaments might have been filmed at completely different occasions in order that Days of Our Lives might embody extra folks.

Plus, a lot of the excuses for folks’s absences had been foolish. The twins coming down with a chilly was the one cheap clarification for anybody’s absence.

Hope’s absence was particularly egregious. Every time they should clarify her absence, Days of Our Lives’ writers use the identical excuse: her aircraft cannot make it.

This excuse is nearly as overused as the entire “they’re my past, you’re my future” nonsense. Retire it already! And higher but, recast Hope in order that she will be a part of Days of Our Lives.

Christmas is one factor, however Hope’s daughter is pregnant, and till very lately, her father was in Bayview and supposedly was affected by superior dementia. Hope would not keep away for months underneath these circumstances, and her absence is leaving a gap in these storylines that’s not being defined away successfully.

And if Days of Our Lives does not wish to recast, then at the least present some one-sided telephone calls frequently. A textual content from Hope saying she will’t make it when nobody talked about her coming is not sufficient.

Jennifer’s homecoming took up lower than ten p.c of the Christmas Eve episode. Julie and Doug did not appear stunned to see her, and he or she was primarily within the background as soon as they acquired to the Horton House.

Come on! This has been one of the anticipated returns of 2021, and it fizzled out. It was nice that Jennifer had a spare Christmas tree angel that she discovered at Laura’s, however she ought to have been far more than a bit participant right here.

Christmas itself ought to have taken up your complete hour, too, as a substitute of being interspersed with all kinds of nonsense associated to the Devil. Where was the annual Christmas toast, declaration that being collectively is extra necessary than all of the dangerous issues which have occurred this yr, and mentions of all of the folks they wished could possibly be there however could not?

The final a number of Christmases have been lackluster, however this one was severely missing within the vacation spirit irrespective of what number of occasions characters mentioned that eliminating the Devil can be a Christmas miracle.

At least the Devil appears to be on its manner out of Salem, however why ought to ropes maintain it to a mattress when it simply broke police-issued handcuffs at Thanksgiving?

And all of its plans to spoil Christmas failed, so there’s that, although its plans had been so ridiculous that they had been unlikely to succeed anyway.

The Belle/Jan change factor was one more doppelganger/masks story, this time with a supernatural bent, and was a waste of Jan Spears.

Jan is a delightfully evil character who’s single-mindedly targeted on interfering with Belle and Shawn. She did not want any encouragement from the Devil to do what she did. Plus, Shawn believing that Jan was Belle, even with the Devil’s assist with the “disguise,” required him to turn out to be so silly that one wonders how he is usually a adorned detective.

As Belle identified, Shawn ought to have been extra cautious when he knew that the Devil was going round disguising itself as different folks to create mayhem.

Thankfully, Belle understood that Shawn did not willfully betray her, which places her a step above folks like Kayla, who, regardless of being a rape survivor herself, claimed Steve cheated on her when Ava compelled him to have intercourse together with her to save lots of Kayla’s life.

Anyway, in order that plan failed. What’s the subsequent doppelganger story going to be since these writers can not seem to go greater than a month with out one?

And I assumed the Devil needed Ben and Ciara’s child. It saved screaming about that when it crashed the Christmas social gathering. So what was with getting sidetracked with messing with Belle and Shawn, particularly with this silly plan that was doomed to failure?

The Devil’s plan to place Tripp in an irreversible coma additionally failed. Steve and Allie had been fast to determine what occurred and discover him, and he was even awake by the top of the hour.

All in all, the one factor the Devil acquired away with this Christmas was spilling the donated Christmas presents on the police station ground. So a lot for being an omnipotent demon that each one mortals are imagined to concern.

Of course, one has to marvel if the Devil acquired into Philip and Lucas too.

Both males engaged in over-the-top, violent schemes to maintain the lady they declare to like away from their rival. This conduct was out of character, pointless, and in the end destroyed any probability of Philip/Chloe or Lucas/Sami being endgame.

Both of those {couples} have enormous fanbases that had been excited concerning the potential pairing, solely to have the rug pulled out from underneath them with heavy-handed, one-sided writing that makes it clear that they had been by no means endgame and by no means will probably be.

This occurs a LOT on Days of Our Lives. The present declares {that a} fan favourite is returning, offers viewers hope {that a} long-awaited couple will get collectively, then does one thing to spoil that couple completely.

It’s virtually as if the writers take pleasure in giving followers false hope simply to utterly destroy the opportunity of their favourite ship taking place.

In Lucas’ case, it is particularly egregious as a result of not solely is it out of character for Lucas to be behind Sami’s kidnapping, however it turns EJ into an harmless sufferer when he’s removed from harmless.

EJ abused Sami terribly, and each Lucas and her youngsters realize it and have pointed it out repeatedly. But now Lucas is the evil interloper who kidnapped Sami to maintain her away from her “true love” EJ.

At finest, Lucas stooped to EJ’s degree with this scheme. It makes all of his claims about EJ treating Sami like dust hypocritical.

Jason: Who the hell are you?
Belle: I’m Belle Brady. You kidnapped my sister and I’m going to make you pay.
Jason: I did you a favor. That bitch is a ache within the ass and I ended you from having to place up together with her.

And to make issues worse, since Lucas pinned the kidnapping on EJ, Sami will doubtless gravitate towards him whereas EJ is in jail, solely to interrupt up with him ceaselessly when she finds out the reality. Ugh.

It’s additionally a complete rerun of what Philip simply did. Now each of Kate’s sons have framed their rival for a serious crime to get them out of the best way. Great.

Despite the terrible reveal that Lucas kidnapped Sami, his scenes with Philip had been among the many better of the week.

Philip wanted to know that folks cared about him, and studying that Lucas missed him and liked him appeared to wake him up as to what he’d been doing.

It virtually appeared like Philip was attempting to compromise with suicidal emotions by merely faking his demise as a substitute of killing himself for actual, and he acquired the chance to learn the way many individuals did love him and mourn his “death.”

And as soon as Lucas established that he wanted his half-brother in his life, Philip got here again to his senses and talked actually with Lucas concerning the mess he’d made out of every part. It was refreshing to have two brothers supporting one another as a substitute of being at one another’s throats.

Philip lastly realized that Chloe and Brady weren’t sleeping collectively this time any greater than they had been the opposite occasions he went nuts with jealousy. He additionally admitted he wanted assist.

Thank goodness Kate and Victor despatched him out of city. If Kate had confided in “Marlena,” that will have been a catastrophe.

While it will be great to have some robust scenes of Philip getting remedy, that is not Days of Our Lives’ model. The present writers have a tendency to not take psychological well being points or therapy critically, and so they most likely wish to hold this triangle going.

Who else thinks the subsequent step is for Chloe to get nearer to Brady in Philip’s absence, just for a cured Philip to return to Salem, prepared to choose up the place he left off with Chloe?

Johnny: I learn about Chanel’s previous. And I additionally know that we’re 100% dedicated to one another.
Paulina: You certain about that? [to Chanel] Can you actually be dedicated to Allie’s brother when it wasn’t that way back you had been kissing Allie?

Finally, Johnny and Chanel got here again to Salem married to one another.

Nothing that their shocked mother and father mentioned was unsuitable per se, although they had been all speaking previous one another, and Johnny was by no means going to listen to something EJ needed to say, anyway.

EJ and Johnny’s relationship dynamic hasn’t modified. EJ all the time tries to regulate what Johnny does, and Johnny resists bitterly.

Surprisingly, Sami was essentially the most mature of the bunch about this, talking quietly and calmly about her issues. She’s been married so many occasions that claiming that marriage is ceaselessly sounded ridiculous coming from her, however that is inappropriate.

Paulina’s recommendation to let the children make their very own selections was sound, however it’s not recommendation she’s ever adopted earlier than, both. Has shedding Lani modified her, or will she return to her previous methods?

Your flip, Days of Our Lives fanatics!

Hit the large, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us your ideas about Christmas 2021 in Salem, the Devil story, and every part else that occurred on Days of Our Lives through the week of 12-20-21.

Hungry for extra Days of Our Lives chat? Be certain to take a look at the most recent Days of Our Lives Round Table discussions.

Days of Our Lives airs on NBC on weekday afternoons. Check your native listings for airtimes or watch on Peacock TV weeknights after 8 PM EST/5 PM PST.

Jack Ori is a senior workers author for TV Fanatic. His debut younger grownup novel, Reinventing Hannah, is out there on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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